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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Salter Goodwin

Lessons from a Wood Walk Wonder

My husband and I greet the beginning of fall with anticipation. We know that the beginning blush and rust of the trees will deepen into reds and orange, yellow and peach and beautiful blends in the changing. We stop mid-sentence to point to a tree or bush and revel in the gift of its beauty

That's when I know it's time for a Wood Walk Wonder. There's something about getting in touch with change in a forest where perseverance and waiting and the juxtaposition of opposites reorients me to life in God. I need His creation truth to settle me, grow me, and keep me moving forward.

Last week after a herculean push in too many directions, we took a creation break and enjoyed a walk through nearby Gibbs Garden. I want to take you on that walk and share the truth-wonders I discovered. Would you join me?

About Color

We do not live in a black and white world.

There is always color somewhere.

This red maple was arresting as sunlight emboldened it even more. It stopped us like an original painting by a famous artist does in a museum. As sunlight danced on the leaves, I reminded myself:

Look for color when something gray threatens your world.


About Your Best

One single leaf caught my

attention. Leaf arms outstretched; it lay in perfect repose. It was one of kind on the green spired monkey grass. I thought about how carefully we try to place ourselves. Sometimes we just need to land where we fall. Be there. Share there. Find contentment there. So I take note:

Share your best no matter where you land.


About Community

While peak color had passed for these trees, their rust did not look like senility. It was the blending of their colors that created a mural of hope in a hanging season. I did not see them old. I saw them perfect. And I must member to

Stay close to others as “color” fades.


About Arrows

All through the garden were arrow signs pointing us in people from getting lost. They helped new visitors see the whole garden. They controlled traffic during high attendance days. I’ve been paying attention to arrows in my life as well. I believe God gives us arrows to keep us moving in the right direction. It is another good reminder today to:

look for and follow God’s arrows.


About Companionship

While there may be reasons to take a garden walk alone, enjoying it with someone seems to deepen the

experience. No two people see the same thing. That’s why we need each other. I make the mental note:

Always find someone to walk with you.


About Leaning

I have always loved this pathway but between the trees. However, II never noticed how the trees were leaning. but not falling. They leaned because of wind that swept through. They leaned through storms that did not take them down. Leaning is a good practice. It's about leaning with something rather than fighting against a storm. It is a reminder that I can lean only if my roots hold. It is another lesson:

Learn to lean together.

Thank you for taking this wood walk wonder with me. I hope you will find a way to take your own and let God’s truths imbedded throughout creation inform you about color, landing places, community, arrows, companionship, and perseverance. If God’s created world can withstand such drastic change and storms, what makes us think that God didn’t create us with the same stamina and call us to the same beauty.

Sometimes it takes a walk in the woods to be reminded.

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